Thursday, April 13, 2023

Benjamin's smackdown

This evening Andrew took Rachel and Miriam to the church for mutual. They played capture the flag. Outside this time.

Last time they played capture the flag they moved the activity indoors, which I wasn't very happy about, but my girls wore masks so nobody got COVID. Except, ironically, that my girls were the COVID+ people at that activity, running around in the gym with a bunch of maskless peers. 

Fortunately, my girls' good masking habits seemed to keep everyone else safe that day. 

As for our family, well, we talk a lot at the dinner table so you know we all got sick. 

(We all did; Rachel had unknowingly been infected at church on Sunday and was just starting to feel off when she attended the mutual activity).

Anyway, this time the activity was outside, so the girls went. 

I stayed home with the younger four kids because even though the Activity Days activity was an "Obstacle Extravaganza," and even though I was told by multiple people in the primary that they would make an effort to hold activities outside so that my children could more freely participate, they didn't want to do obstacles outdoors. 

So, anyway...

The kids helped me water the garden!

Super exciting times over here.

I got a set of three novelty watering cans for Easter—a dinosaur, a unicorn, and an elephant—to...inspire the kids to want to help me lug water over to the garden. One week in and this plan seems to be working. I know setting up the hose would, in theory, be faster than lugging jugs of water. However, the hose is so big and heavy and setting it up and then pulling it across the yard and then winding it up and putting it away...makes carrying jugs of water seem worth it.

Plus it rains a lot here, anyway, so it's not like we necessarily have to do this every day.

Plus my kids really like water, anyway, so if an activity means they can get wet they're already pretty inclined to participate.

So those three little jugs were worth it. The three littlest kids used the cute watering cans. Benjamin used the big blue watering can. I...made sure Phoebe didn't do anything dumb.

No offense to babies, but they're constantly doing dumb stuff! Keeping Phoebe alive feels like a full-time job sometimes! But I digress...

We had finished watering the garden and we were just...chilling...

Phoebe was licking the mint plant...and Benjamin was walking across the lawn towards us...and...he tripped on Phoebe's slide and went down so hard, landing on top of his hand funny.

He was up off the ground almost as soon as he was down.

First he emitted a long and loud scream.

Then he yelled, "I BROKE IT! I THINK I BROKE IT!"

And then he started running around the yard in chaotic circles. 

I was like, "Benjamin—what? What did you break?"

The slide looked fine so I figured it...was him. But he also seemed somewhat fine.

"My finger!" he howled. "I think I broke it! Yow! Yow! Yow!"

"Let me see," I commanded. 

He held out his hand. 

"Huh," I said. "It looks a little red, but it's not too bad. Let me see your other hand..."

"Nothing's wrong with my other hand!" Benjamin shouted, yanking his hands away from me and resuming his frantic circles around the yard. 

"Benjamin!" I ordered again. "Come here and let me see your hands. I want to compare them to each other to see..."

"If it looks like my finger is swelling?" he finished, finally putting two and two together.

"Precisely," I said. "Now take a deep breath, and hold out your hands. Okay...yes...I can see that your finger is already starting to swell. That doesn't mean it's broken, necessarily, but you definitely injured it. I think what you need to do is stop running around the yard screaming and put some ice on it."

So that's what he did.

Here's how it looked after Andrew and the girls got home and the rest of us came inside (so probably about an hour's worth of icing):

Look at his pinkies and you can probably tell which one is feeling ouchie

I wasn't terribly convinced that he'd actually broken it until he started complaining of feeling cold, like he had uncontrollable chills. He had to go inside and cuddle up on the couch with a blanket...and his ice pack. I mean, to be fair he was applying ice to his body and ice tends to make people feel cold, but he was putting it on his pinkie finger, not his stomach or anything like that. It shouldn't have made him feel uncontrollably shivery, right?

I don't know.

Whatever the case, we made a little splint for it so that he could sleep without bashing it, gave him some ibuprofen, and sent him to bed. He's sleeping well and...his finger seems okay...

I'm...not sure...that we'll take him in to get it checked out. 

We just got the bill from his last ER visit. It was ugly. But the good news, I suppose, is that he's pretty much met his deductible! 

We have a family deductible and individual deductibles. The individual deductibles apply toward the family deductible. Since Benjamin has met his individual deductible then our cost would be a lot less if we did take him than if we had to take in someone else...since we haven't met our family deductible yet. So we could take him in and not get another super horrendous bill (just an ordinary one) but I'm not really sure it's broken...?

I reminded him of the time I jammed/sprained/broke my finger at the pool. It hurt like the dickens, so I sympathized with him entirely, and it took me several months to be able to bend my finger all the way...but I never went into the doctor because, like, what's the doctor going to do? Splint it?

So instead I just spent the next several months saying, "Yup. I'm pretty sure I really did break my finger that one day..." while trying to bend it or grasp things or play the piano or ukulele or whatever (that's the same thing as physical therapy, right?).

We'll see how Benjamin is feeling in the morning...


  1. An office visit is cheaper than an ER visit. Find an orthopedist with an x-ray machine, or maybe your pediatrician has a machine. My son never broke his pinky finger, but as he grew he developed clinodactyly. I was shocked at the prevalence of the condition, and the elegance of the physical therapy (not at all what I expected).

    1. Yeah, unfortunately they don't tend to have imaging at offices here (which is super inconvenient). Our options are urgent care or making an appointment with our primary care pediatrician for a referral to imaging at the children's hospital. Offices that have imaging seem much more common out west—when Alexander broke his arm in Spanish Fork, I just called the doctor's office to say that I thought he'd hurt his arm, they said to bring him on down, took an x-ray, and casted his arm all within an hour or two. That would NEVER happen out here!

    2. Wow! That's rotten! Every PCP I've ever seen has had a machine.

    3. I know. I was SHOCKED the first time we needed to get an x-ray done for a child out here. I was like, "You need me to do WHAT now?!" So much work! Hahaha!

  2. There are urgent care and immediate care centers all over your area (not the ER and not part of the hospitals). These are what the South uses; All of them have imaging. All are 'walk in' and do everything from sports injuries to imaging, blood work and labs, regular sick visits, etc. You can go to any of them - just a walk in or make an appointment online. Quick and easy x-rays for his finger.

    1. Yup; precisely as I mentioned above—urgent care or a pediatrics visit + referral (if you don't go the ER route).

      We've gone to urgent care for x-rays before and talked about it for this injury as well, but since we were saddled with a $1500 bill from when we were instructed to take him to the ER for suspected appendicitis last month...we're cringing at what the urgent care bill would be since those are, admittedly less than ER bills, but definitely more than a visit with a PCP. :)